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Would you know what to do if you were first on the scene of a car crash ?
It’s easy to let our emotions get the better of us – we might like to think we’d stay cool, but in reality it can be a pretty distressing sight.
With traffic getting busier and busier it’s crucial to know what to do, so Devon Live has compiled a handy guide.
When you first encounter the scene of an accident, park your car with hazard lights and/or headlights on, ideally facing approaching traffic. If you have a warning triangle, place it in the road.
If there are other people who can help send them back along the road to wave traffic in order to slow it down.
Take care on fast moving roads. Other drivers might not understand what you are trying to do.
Check the scene, switch off engines, impose a no smoking ban. Keep children at a safe distance.
Send someone for help or use your mobile phone. The UK emergency number is 999 (or 112 on a mobile phone). When the operator answers, state the service required.
Give the following information
Your telephone number (if you are cut off the emergency service will be able to contact you)
The location of the incident – road names or numbers, landmarks, map reference, sat-nav positioning reference, etc
Description of the incident, for example, “Motorcycle has hit a bus – the motorcyclist is not moving”.
The quiet casualties are probably the worst injured. Reassure the noisy ones that help is on the way.
Simple first aid
Don’t move casualties because you may cause further injury.
Check for breathing. If the casualty is not breathing, clear the mouth (false teeth, chewing gum, sweets) very gently tilt the head back and, holding their nose, gently blow into them at five second intervals allowing the chest to exhale naturally.
Stop bleeding. Firm pressure on a wound will stem bleeding.
Don’t give casualties anything to eat or drink because this can cause complications for medics and delay life saving treatment.
Attend a first aid course to learn the basics of first-aid. It’s easy to save lives with simple skills that can be learned in just a few hours.
Legal and other advice
The UK Highway Code, Rule 286, states if you are involved in a collision which causes damage or injury to any other person, vehicle, animal or property, you must stop and give your own and the vehicle owner’s name and address, and the registration number of the vehicle, to anyone having reasonable grounds for requiring them.
If you do not give your name and address at the time of the collision, report it to the police as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case within 24 hours.